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Florida Property Tax Amendment

Florida Property Tax Amendment

Following is the text of the proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution to the Save-Our-Homes amendment. Your Suncoasteam believes that there should be an open discussion regarding the benefits and problems of this amendment. Your comments are welcome. Please post them below.

PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
TO BE VOTED ON JANUARY 29, 2008
NOTICE OF ELECTION

I, Kurt S. Browning, Secretary of State of the State of Florida, do hereby give notice that
an election will be held in each county in Florida, on January 29, 2008, for the ratification
or rejection of a proposed revision to the constitution of the State of Florida.

No. 1
CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION
ARTICLE VII, SECTIONS 3, 4, AND 6
ARTICLE XII, SECTION 27
(Legislative)

Ballot Title:

PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS; LIMITATIONS ON PROPERTY TAX
ASSESSMENTS

Ballot Summary:

This revision proposes changes to the State Constitution relating to property taxation.
With respect to homestead property, this revision: (1) increases the homestead exemption
except for school district taxes and (2) allows homestead property owners to transfer up
to $500,000 of their Save-Our-Homes benefits to their next homestead. With respect to
nonhomestead property, this revision (3) provides a $25,000 exemption for tangible
personal property and (4) limits assessment increases for specified nonhomestead real
property except for school district taxes.

In more detail, this revision:

(1) Increases the homestead exemption by exempting the assessed value
between $50,000 and $75,000. This exemption does not apply to school district taxes.
(2) Provides for the transfer of accumulated Save-Our-Homes benefits.
Homestead property owners will be able to transfer their Save-Our-Homes benefit to a
new homestead within 1 year and not more than 2 years after relinquishing their previous
homestead; except, if this revision is approved by the electors in January of 2008 and if
the new homestead is established on January 1, 2008, the previous homestead must have
been relinquished in 2007. If the new homestead has a higher just value than the previous
one, the accumulated benefit can be transferred; if the new homestead has a lower just
value, the amount of benefit transferred will be reduced. The transferred benefit may not
exceed $500,000. This provision applies to all taxes.
(3) Authorizes an exemption from property taxes of $25,000 of assessed value
of tangible personal property. This provision applies to all taxes.
(4) Limits the assessment increases for specified nonhomestead real property to
10 percent each year. Property will be assessed at just value following an improvement,
as defined by general law, and may be assessed at just value following a change of
ownership or control if provided by general law. This limitation does not apply to school

district taxes. This limitation is repealed effective January 1, 2019, unless renewed by a
vote of the electors in the general election held in 2018.

Further, this revision:

a. Repeals obsolete language on the homestead exemption when it was less
than $25,000 and did not apply uniformly to property taxes levied by all local
governments.
b. Provides for homestead exemptions to be repealed if a future constitutional
amendment provides for assessment of homesteads “at less than just value” rather than as
currently provided “at a specified percentage” of just value.
c. Schedules the changes to take effect upon approval by the electors and
operate retroactively to January 1, 2008, if approved in a special election held on January
29, 2008, or to take effect January 1, 2009, if approved in the general election held in
November of 2008. The limitation on annual assessment increases for specified real
property shall first apply to the 2009 tax roll if this revision is approved in a special
election held on January 29, 2008, or shall first apply to the 2010 tax roll if this revision
is approved in the general election held in November of 2008.
ARTICLE VII
FINANCE AND TAXATION

SECTION 3. Taxes; exemptions.-

(a) All property owned by a municipality and used exclusively by it for
municipal or public purposes shall be exempt from taxation. A municipality, owning
property outside the municipality, may be required by general law to make payment to
the taxing unit in which the property is located. Such portions of property as are used
predominantly for educational, literary, scientific, religious or charitable purposes may be
exempted by general law from taxation.
(b) There shall be exempt from taxation, cumulatively, to every head of a
family residing in this state, household goods and personal effects to the value fixed by
general law, not less than one thousand dollars, and to every widow or widower or person
who is blind or totally and permanently disabled, property to the value fixed by general
law not less than five hundred dollars.
(c) Any county or municipality may, for the purpose of its respective tax levy
and subject to the provisions of this subsection and general law, grant community and
economic development ad valorem tax exemptions to new businesses and expansions of
existing businesses, as defined by general law. Such an exemption may be granted only
by ordinance of the county or municipality, and only after the electors of the county or
municipality voting on such question in a referendum authorize the county or
municipality to adopt such ordinances. An exemption so granted shall apply to
improvements to real property made by or for the use of a new business and
improvements to real property related to the expansion of an existing business and shall
also apply to tangible personal property of such new business and tangible personal

property related to the expansion of an existing business. The amount or limits of the
amount of such exemption shall be specified by general law. The period of time for
which such exemption may be granted to a new business or expansion of an existing
business shall be determined by general law. The authority to grant such exemption shall
expire ten years from the date of approval by the electors of the county or municipality,
and may be renewable by referendum as provided by general law.

(d) By general law and subject to conditions specified therein, there may be
granted an ad valorem tax exemption to a renewable energy source device and to real
property on which such device is installed and operated, to the value fixed by general law
not to exceed the original cost of the device, and for the period of time fixed by general
law not to exceed ten years.
(e) Any county or municipality may, for the purpose of its respective tax levy
and subject to the provisions of this subsection and general law, grant historic
preservation ad valorem tax exemptions to owners of historic properties. This exemption
may be granted only by ordinance of the county or municipality. The amount or limits of
the amount of this exemption and the requirements for eligible properties must be
specified by general law. The period of time for which this exemption may be granted to
a property owner shall be determined by general law.
(f) By general law and subject to conditions specified therein, twenty-five
thousand dollars of the assessed value of property subject to tangible personal property
tax shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation.
SECTION 4. Taxation; assessments.–By general law regulations shall be
prescribed which shall secure a just valuation of all property for ad valorem taxation,
provided:

(a) Agricultural land, land producing high water recharge to Florida’s aquifers,
or land used exclusively for noncommercial recreational purposes may be classified by
general law and assessed solely on the basis of character or use.
(b) Pursuant to general law tangible personal property held for sale as stock in
trade and livestock may be valued for taxation at a specified percentage of its value, may
be classified for tax purposes, or may be exempted from taxation.
(c) All persons entitled to a homestead exemption under Section 6 of this
Article shall have their homestead assessed at just value as of January 1 of the year
following the effective date of this amendment. This assessment shall change only as
provided herein.
(1) Assessments subject to this provision shall be changed annually on January
1st of each year; but those changes in assessments shall not exceed the lower of the
following:
a. Three percent (3%) of the assessment for the prior year.
b. The percent change in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers,
U.S. City Average, all items 1967=100, or successor reports for the preceding calendar
year as initially reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor
Statistics.
(2) No assessment shall exceed just value.
(3) After any change of ownership, as provided by general law, homestead
property shall be assessed at just value as of January 1 of the following year, unless the

provisions of paragraph (8) apply. Thereafter, the homestead shall be assessed as
provided herein.

(4) New homestead property shall be assessed at just value as of January 1st of
the year following the establishment of the homestead, unless the provisions of paragraph
(8) apply. That assessment shall only change as provided herein.
(5) Changes, additions, reductions, or improvements to homestead property
shall be assessed as provided for by general law; provided, however, after the adjustment
for any change, addition, reduction, or improvement, the property shall be assessed as
provided herein.
(6) In the event of a termination of homestead status, the property shall be
assessed as provided by general law.
(7) The provisions of this amendment are severable. If any of the provisions of
this amendment shall be held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the
decision of such court shall not affect or impair any remaining provisions of this
amendment.
(8)a. A person who establishes a new homestead as of January 1, 2009, or
January 1 of any subsequent year and who has received a homestead exemption pursuant
to Section 6 of this Article as of January 1 of either of the two years immediately
preceding the establishment of the new homestead is entitled to have the new homestead
assessed at less than just value. If this revision is approved in January of 2008, a person
who establishes a new homestead as of January 1, 2008, is entitled to have the new
homestead assessed at less than just value only if that person received a homestead
exemption on January 1, 2007. The assessed value of the newly established homestead
shall be determined as follows:

1. If the just value of the new homestead is greater than or equal to the just
value of the prior homestead as of January 1 of the year in which the prior homestead was
abandoned, the assessed value of the new homestead shall be the just value of the new
homestead minus an amount equal to the lesser of $500,000 or the difference between the
just value and the assessed value of the prior homestead as of January 1 of the year in
which the prior homestead was abandoned. Thereafter, the homestead shall be assessed as
provided herein.
2. If the just value of the new homestead is less than the just value of the prior
homestead as of January 1 of the year in which the prior homestead was abandoned, the
assessed value of the new homestead shall be equal to the just value of the new
homestead divided by the just value of the prior homestead and multiplied by the
assessed value of the prior homestead. However, if the difference between the just value
of the new homestead and the assessed value of the new homestead calculated pursuant to
this sub-subparagraph is greater than $500,000, the assessed value of the new homestead
shall be increased so that the difference between the just value and the assessed value
equals $500,000. Thereafter, the homestead shall be assessed as provided herein.
b. By general law and subject to conditions specified therein, the Legislature
shall provide for application of this paragraph to property owned by more than one
person.
(d) The legislature may, by general law, for assessment purposes and subject to
the provisions of this subsection, allow counties and municipalities to authorize by
ordinance that historic property may be assessed solely on the basis of character or use.

Such character or use assessment shall apply only to the jurisdiction adopting the
ordinance. The requirements for eligible properties must be specified by general law.

(e) A county may, in the manner prescribed by general law, provide for a
reduction in the assessed value of homestead property to the extent of any increase in the
assessed value of that property which results from the construction or reconstruction of
the property for the purpose of providing living quarters for one or more natural or
adoptive grandparents or parents of the owner of the property or of the owner’s spouse if
at least one of the grandparents or parents for whom the living quarters are provided is 62
years of age or older. Such a reduction may not exceed the lesser of the following:
(1) The increase in assessed value resulting from construction or reconstruction
of the property.
(2) Twenty percent of the total assessed value of the property as improved.
(f) For all levies other than school district levies, assessments of residential real
property, as defined by general law, which contains nine units or fewer and which is not
subject to the assessment limitations set forth in subsections (a) through (c) shall change
only as provided in this subsection.
(1) Assessments subject to this subsection shall be changed annually on the
date of assessment provided by law; but those changes in assessments shall not exceed
ten percent (10%) of the assessment for the prior year.
(2) No assessment shall exceed just value.
(3) After a change of ownership or control, as defined by general law,
including any change of ownership of a legal entity that owns the property, such property
shall be assessed at just value as of the next assessment date. Thereafter, such property
shall be assessed as provided in this subsection.
(4) Changes, additions, reductions, or improvements to such property shall be
assessed as provided for by general law; however, after the adjustment for any change,
addition, reduction, or improvement, the property shall be assessed as provided in this
subsection.
(g) For all levies other than school district levies, assessments of real property
that is not subject to the assessment limitations set forth in subsections (a) through (c) and
(f) shall change only as provided in this subsection.
(1) Assessments subject to this subsection shall be changed annually on the
date of assessment provided by law; but those changes in assessments shall not exceed
ten percent (10%) of the assessment for the prior year.
(2) No assessment shall exceed just value.
(3) The legislature must provide that such property shall be assessed at just
value as of the next assessment date after a qualifying improvement, as defined by
general law, is made to such property. Thereafter, such property shall be assessed as
provided in this subsection.
(4) The legislature may provide that such property shall be assessed at just
value as of the next assessment date after a change of ownership or control, as defined by
general law, including any change of ownership of the legal entity that owns the property.
Thereafter, such property shall be assessed as provided in this subsection.
(5) Changes, additions, reductions, or improvements to such property shall be
assessed as provided for by general law; however, after the adjustment for any change,

addition, reduction, or improvement, the property shall be assessed as provided in this
subsection.

SECTION 6. Homestead exemptions.-

(a) Every person who has the legal or equitable title to real estate and maintains
thereon the permanent residence of the owner, or another legally or naturally dependent
upon the owner, shall be exempt from taxation thereon, except assessments for special
benefits, up to the assessed valuation of twenty-five five thousand dollars and, for all
levies other than school district levies, on the assessed valuation greater than fifty
thousand dollars and up to seventy-five thousand dollars, upon establishment of right
thereto in the manner prescribed by law. The real estate may be held by legal or
equitable title, by the entireties, jointly, in common, as a condominium, or indirectly by
stock ownership or membership representing the owner’s or member’s proprietary interest
in a corporation owning a fee or a leasehold initially in excess of ninety-eight years. The
exemption shall not apply with respect to any assessment roll until such roll is first
determined to be in compliance with the provisions of section 4 by a state agency
designated by general law. This exemption is repealed on the effective date of any
amendment to this Article which provides for the assessment of homestead property at
less than just value.
(b) Not more than one exemption shall be allowed any individual or family unit
or with respect to any residential unit. No exemption shall exceed the value of the real
estate assessable to the owner or, in case of ownership through stock or membership in a
corporation, the value of the proportion which the interest in the corporation bears to the
assessed value of the property.
(c) By general law and subject to conditions specified therein, the exemption
shall be increased to a total of twenty-five thousand dollars of the assessed value of the
real estate for each school district levy. By general law and subject to conditions
specified therein, the exemption for all other levies may be increased up to an amount not
exceeding ten thousand dollars of the assessed value of the real estate if the owner has
attained age sixty-five or is totally and permanently disabled and if the owner is not
entitled to the exemption provided in subsection (d).
(d) By general law and subject to conditions specified therein, the exemption
shall be increased to a total of the following amounts of assessed value of real estate for
each levy other than those of school districts: fifteen thousand dollars with respect to
1980 assessments; twenty thousand dollars with respect to 1981 assessments; twenty-five
thousand dollars with respect to assessments for 1982 and each year thereafter. However,
such increase shall not apply with respect to any assessment roll until such roll is first
determined to be in compliance with the provisions of section 4 by a state agency
designated by general law. This subsection shall stand repealed on the effective date of
any amendment to section 4 which provides for the assessment of homestead property at
a specified percentage of its just value.
(c)(e) By general law and subject to conditions specified therein, the
Legislature may provide to renters, who are permanent residents, ad valorem tax relief on
all ad valorem tax levies. Such ad valorem tax relief shall be in the form and amount
established by general law.

(d)(f) The legislature may, by general law, allow counties or municipalities, for
the purpose of their respective tax levies and subject to the provisions of general law, to
grant an additional homestead tax exemption not exceeding fifty thousand dollars to any
person who has the legal or equitable title to real estate and maintains thereon the
permanent residence of the owner and who has attained age sixty-five and whose
household income, as defined by general law, does not exceed twenty thousand dollars.
The general law must allow counties and municipalities to grant this additional
exemption, within the limits prescribed in this subsection, by ordinance adopted in the
manner prescribed by general law, and must provide for the periodic adjustment of the
income limitation prescribed in this subsection for changes in the cost of living.

(e)(g) Each veteran who is age 65 or older who is partially or totally
permanently disabled shall receive a discount from the amount of the ad valorem tax
otherwise owed on homestead property the veteran owns and resides in if the disability
was combat related, the veteran was a resident of this state at the time of entering the
military service of the United States, and the veteran was honorably discharged upon
separation from military service. The discount shall be in a percentage equal to the
percentage of the veteran’s permanent, service-connected disability as determined by the
United States Department of Veterans Affairs. To qualify for the discount granted by this
subsection, an applicant must submit to the county property appraiser, by March 1, proof
of residency at the time of entering military service, an official letter from the United
States Department of Veterans Affairs stating the percentage of the veteran’s service-
connected disability and such evidence that reasonably identifies the disability as combat
related, and a copy of the veteran’s honorable discharge. If the property appraiser denies
the request for a discount, the appraiser must notify the applicant in writing of the reasons
for the denial, and the veteran may reapply. The Legislature may, by general law, waive
the annual application requirement in subsequent years. This subsection shall take effect
December 7, 2006, is self-executing, and does not require implementing legislation.

ARTICLE XII
SCHEDULE

SECTION 27. Property tax exemptions and limitations on property tax
assessments.–The amendments to Sections 3, 4, and 6 of Article VII, providing a
$25,000 exemption for tangible personal property, providing an additional $25,000
homestead exemption, authorizing transfer of the accrued benefit from the limitations on
the assessment of homestead property, and this section, if submitted to the electors of this
state for approval or rejection at a special election authorized by law to be held on
January 29, 2008, shall take effect upon approval by the electors and shall operate
retroactively to January 1, 2008, or, if submitted to the electors of this state for approval
or rejection at the next general election, shall take effect January 1 of the year following
such general election. The amendments to Section 4 of Article VII creating subsections

(f) and (g) of that section, creating a limitation on annual assessment increases for
specified real property, shall take effect upon approval of the electors and shall first limit
assessments beginning January 1, 2009, if approved at a special election held on January
29, 2008, or shall first limit assessments beginning January 1, 2010, if approved at the
general election held in November of 2008. Subsections (f) and (g) of Section 4 of Article

VII are repealed effective January 1, 2019; however, the legislature shall by joint
resolution propose an amendment abrogating the repeal of subsections (f) and (g), which
shall be submitted to the electors of this state for approval or rejection at the general
election of 2018 and, if approved, shall take effect January 1, 2019.

————

James B. Mulligan, Licensed Real Estate Broker
Suncoasteam Realty
PO Box 380503
Murdock, FL 33938

Jim Mulligan (941) 456-3034
Andy Leonard (941) 662-0033
Donata Noone (941) 979-8042

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